Deputies urge parents to check daycares after kids found in closet

Posted at 10:31 PM, Oct 10, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-11 06:03:07-04

Kids kept in closed closets to sleep, with some even forgotten by the daycare owner, according to Beach deputies.

The story of “Little Monkies” at-home daycare enraged NewsChannel 3 viewers, with many wondering why parents would even trust their child's life to someone else without a background check.

Jeanette Mathis says it’s easy when you are worried about cost and work schedules.

Previous: Beach deputies discover 3 kids inside closed closets at home daycare

Her three-year-old started going to “Little Monkies” back in February, after finding the daycare on Craigslist.

“They taught them, helped them with potty training, very flexible with my hours and weren’t too expensive. They were everything I was looking for, and it seemed like it would be the perfect fit,” said Mathis.

It all changed Friday, when sheriff's deputies forced the daycare owner to call her and confess that they were keeping children in closets to sleep.

Those two Virginia Beach deputies who made the discovery are moms themselves, and are now urging parents to take action and make sure their kids are safe.

“Interview them, you’re actually interviewing them, because you’re putting the safety of your child in their hands when you’re at work,” said Deputy Natalie Rozos.

“Make sure they are licensed, the home is clean, and see how many kids this person is actually taking care of,” said Deputy Alexandria Wesner.

The State of Virginia actually keeps a detailed list of all licensed at-home daycares, and the number of kids makes a huge difference in determining what type of license is needed.

If there are 4 or more newborns and toddlers under the age of 2 being watched, all at-home daycares must have a license.

If the children are older and there are five or less, then no license is needed.

If there are more than five kids, the daycare needs a ""Family Day Home" license.

If there are more than 12, the home daycare should be held to even stricter standards, and has to have a "Child Day Center" license.

All of this is available online in a searchable database.

Mathis wishes she knew about it before.

“Check into people. I never thought I would have to do a background check, thought everything would be okay.”